Forget about the tier one nations of the rugby world, let’s focus on the rest of the planet. Ignoring all the major nations of the globe we have put together a star-studded ‘Rest of the World’ XV.
1) Masataka Mikama, Japan
The Japanese loosehead has played 33 tests and won 25 of them – an impressive record for a tier 2 or 3 player. He also started Japan’s famous win over South Africa in last year’s World Cup. Whilst some might call for Soane Tonga’uiha’s inclusion, the giant Tongan prop has only started 18 games for his country whereas Mikama has been a dedicated servant to his nation.
2) Marius Tincu, Romania
Romania’s legendary hooker Tincu played 53 tests for his country, including representing his nation at the 2007 and 2011 World Cups, but also spent much of his career at Perpignan. A fierce competitor and a phenomenally talented hooker.
3) Davit Kubriashvili, Georgia
The Georgian tighthead has played 45 tests for his country, winning 31 of them. As well as appearing 128 times for Toulon, he has also played 43 games for Stade Francais and currently plays for Top 14 side Montpellier.
4) Giorgi Nemsadze, Georgia
As well as playing 65 tests for his country, the Georgian lock has been part of the side that has beaten the likes of Samoa, Fiji, Tonga, Japan and Romania in recent years. The 6 foot 5 powerhouse spent a number of years playing in France before signing for Bristol for this season.
5) Goncalo Uva, Portugal
The 6 foot 7 lock has played 90 tests for his country and played for his nation during the 2007 World Cup, including the match against the All Blacks. Most recently he featured in three victories over Belgium, Switzerland and Brazil.
6) Al Charron, Canada
The former Canuck player featured 76 times for his country, winning 40 matches. During the 1991 World Cup his side beat both Fiji and Romania, as well as competing well against both France and New Zealand. The Ottawa-born player was inducted into the Ontario Hall of Fame for his contributions to the sport.
7) Todd Clever, USA
As well as representing his country 69 times, Clever has also featured for the USA’s sevens team as well, and played for the Super Rugby franchise the Lions back in 2009. The flanker has also played in Japan’s Top 14 and in the Aviva Premiership with Newcastle Falcons.
8) Diego Ormaechea, Uruguay
When one thinks of Uruguayan rugby, one automatically thinks of the Ormaechea family. Diego played 73 times for his country scoring 16 tries, and represented his nation at the 1999 Rugby World Cup at the age of 40. His son Agustin has also represented Uruguay and played during last year’s World Cup.
9) Kahn Fotuali’i, Samoa
On top of the 31 Samoa caps the scrum half earnt, Auckland-born Fotuali’i enjoyed three years at New Zealand Super Rugby side Crusaders, and spent the rest of his career with the Ospreys, Northampton Saints and now Bath.
10) Waisale Serevi, Fiji
Although the Fijian mini maestro is known more for his exploits in the Sevens version of the game, the supremely talented Serevi also won 39 tests in fifteens thanks to his wonderful ability to read the game, his elusive footwork and his brilliant rugby brain.
11) Nemani Nadolo, Fiji
Nadolo is a nightmare for any opposition player to face given his size and power. The 6 foot 5 and 21 stone winger is an absolute behemoth and as well as being a destructive force is also a wonderful finisher and a fantastically talented place kicker.
12) Brian Lima, Samoa
This Samoan legend isn’t known as ‘The Chiropractor’ for nothing; Lima packed a powerful punch in defence and prided himself on his abrasive physicality. As well being adept in both centre positions, the Apia born-and-bred player spent a good part of his career out on the wing.
13) Rupeni Caucaunibuca, Fiji
This writer did consider Canada’s DTH van der Merwe as an option here, but Fijian rugby genius Caucaunibuca moves to the centre (a position he was familiar with despite appearing mostly as a winger) to accommodate the USA’s Chris Wyles on the other wing.
Although Caucau’s international career was sadly very short, earning only seven caps for Fiji, in those games and his club career he had such an impact on the game that he cannot be missed out of this side.
Caucau was brilliantly talented and at times could run through whole teams with his footwork, pace, power and natural ball-playing skills, but a lack of discipline and arguably dedication meant he never fulfilled his immense potential.
14) Chris Wyles, USA
At 33 years of age, Wyles is entering into the twilight years of his career, but the Stamford-born winger has really come into his own since signing for Saracens since 2008 – making 210 appearances for the club so far.
The winger has gone on to be a crucial element in Saracens’ Premiership and European victories and is now a world-renowned name for the US Eagles.
15) Ayumu Goromaru, Japan
Goramaru is an A-list celebrity in his native Japan thanks to his achievements for the Brave Blossoms in recent years, including Japan’s famous win over South Africa in the 2015 Rugby World Cup. The fullback has already earnt 56 caps for his country.
Although he endured a disappointing time at the Queensland Reds, the player is now on Toulon’s impressive roster of players.
Heineken Rugby Club celebrates and rewards real supporters who make the game what it is.
Read More About: al charron, Ayumu Goromaru, brian lima, canada, chris wyles, diego ormaechea, Fiji, Georgia, international rugby, Kahn Fotuali'i, nemani nadolo, Portugal, rest of the world, Romania, Rugby, Rupeni Caucaunibuca, samoa, soane tonga'uiha, tier 2, tier 3, todd clever, tonga, uruguay, usa